Chocolate Mousse

I remember the first really good chocolate mousse I ever had. It was at the long-gone Stagedoor restaurant in Ann Arbor. After that, I always kept my eyes open for places that served good mousse, but was usually dissappointed. The experience ranged from the very rarely sublime to the insipid-so bad it might as well have been instant chocolate pudding. (this was in Paris, no less) When, at long last, I began to experiment with various mousse recipes, I found out that this variation was simply explained by the choice of ingredients and the care that went into them.

The chocolate you choose to use is absolutely the essential ingredient. Period, full stop. Different brands will create entirely different flavors. So, you may want to experiment a bit once you've found a version that suits your tatstes.

This is a typical chocolate mousse recipe. Other sweeteners-like maple syrup-could be substituted for the honey.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream (in a refrigerated bowl)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (in heavy saucepan)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (you can use a food processor for this)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature

1) Bring cream in saucepan just to a low simmer over medium heat.

2) Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and thoroughly blended.

3) Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm.

4) Whip egg whites to stiff peaks.

5) Whip refrigerated cream to stiff peaks.

6) Add 1/3 of egg whites to chocolate mixture and stir vigourously.

7) With a large spatula, gently fold remaining egg whites into lightened chocolate, blending until no white remains.

8) Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture.

9) Spoon into small dishes and chill for about 2 hours.

Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing, 1982, 346 pgs. plus index.

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